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    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (C) waves the national flag during a pro-government march in Caracas, on February 23, 2019.

    Russian Personnel Visit to Caracas Not Linked to US Intervention Threat - Source

    © AFP 2019 / Yuri CORTEZ
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    CARACAS, March 25 (Sputnik) - A visit of Russian military personnel to Venezuela is in no way connected to the statements of the United States on potential intervention in Venezuela, a diplomatic source in Caracas told Sputnik on Monday.

    According to media reports, planes with the Russian military personnel arrived in Caracas on Saturday, while a diplomatic source told Sputnik the visit was linked to the contracts, including defense ones.

    "No, these things are in no way connected. This [visit] is about discussing contracts that had been concluded long before the crisis in Venezuela," the source said, when asked about a potential link.

    The source further said that Russia and Venezuela had not signed contracts for the supply of S-300 air defence missile systems to Caracas recently, the systems were delivered to Venezuela in 2013.

    "Contracts for the supply to Venezuela of S-300 air defense missile systems have not been signed recently. Russia delivered these systems to Caracas in 2013," the source said.

    Earlier, media reported that a Russian military delegation had arrived in Caracas and, according to a Sputnik source, was planning to discuss defence industry issues with Venezuelan counterparts. After the arrival of Russian Defence Ministry officials in Caracas, media reported that Venezuela had deployed S-300 systems.

    Venezuela has been suffering from a severe political crisis for around two months, after the leader of the country's opposition, Juan Guaido, illegally proclaimed himself interim president, contesting the re-election of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro last year.

    READ MORE: Guaido Calls for "Operation Freedom" to Topple Venezuelan President Maduro

    The self-proclaimed interim president immediately received support on the part of the United States, which has also denounced Maduro's re-election, along with a number of other countries. Both Caracas and Moscow have been expressing concerns that Washington may resort to military means to oust Maduro from power.

    China, Cuba, Russia and a number of other countries have endorsed Maduro as Venezuela's only legitimate president.

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    ‘Diplomatic Pressure’ Making Venezuela Prez Maduro ‘Isolated,’ ‘Alone’ - Guaido
    Panama Revokes Credentials of 14 Venezuelan Diplomats – Foreign Ministry
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